Maywood Fest Planned for September, With or Without Events Commission

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A music performance under the gazebo inside Fred Hampton Park, 300 Fred Hampton Way, directly behind the Maywood Police Station and the Maywood Public Library. There could be more music coming to that space in September, when Maywood Fest is scheduled to take place after years of not happening. | Photo:

Wednesday, July 27, 2016 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews || @village_free || UPDATED: 7/28/16

Maywood Fest, the community-wide event hosted by the village that’s been defunct for at least the last four years, is slated to make a comeback. A 7-member ad hoc committee created exclusively to plan the fest held its first meeting on July 11.

At least one trustee, however, hopes that the village’s Special Events Commission — a permanent body responsible for planning and organizing numerous community-wide events hosted by the village but that has been defunct for the last several years — would gain some members of its own.

According to its meeting minutes, the ad hoc committee suggested the fest take place over three days, between Sept. 9 through Sept. 11.

The first day would include a movie night in the park featuring vendors and a special events tent. Beer, wine and t-shirts will be for sale. The day would also feature a senior appreciation banquet with “food, live entertainment and transportation for those who need it.”

The second day, Saturday, Sept. 10, would include live entertainment for most of the day, a car show, a soccer game and a battle of the bands contest, among other forms of entertainment.

The 3-day fest would end on Sunday with a Gospel music brunch and a softball game, among other features.

According to the committee’s minutes, the fest organizers are seeking proposals from vendors for entertainment, outdoor furniture rental, food liquor and t-shirt sales and game trucks. Sponsorship letters and vendor applications were set to be sent out this week.

The idea for the fest was brought up during budget discussions earlier this year, with Trustee Antoinette Dorris, who proposed the idea, estimating that the cost of putting on the event would range between $24,000 and $30,000. She said she based the figure on what it took to fund the fest that was held “about six years ago,” according to March 30 VFP report.

“I am interested in having [the fest],” said Dorris at the time. “This is no slight to the turkey giveaway, Bataan Day, the employee party, Safe Summer or the Old Timers Picnic, but I think that, while these are great, they’re not hitting the entire village. We’ve gone three years now and have not had anything.”

There was, however, a minor controversy during the July 26 regular board meeting where the fest was discussed.

A motion to appoint the seven members of the ad hoc fest committee to serve on the Maywood Special Events Commission was pulled out from an omnibus agenda by Dorris so that it could be tabled, or removed from board consideration, indefinitely.

Dorris said that none of the committee members wanted to serve on the village’s formal events commission, which would entail attending regular meetings and planning numerous events. The commission has been defunct at least since Perkins took office in 2013.

She said the agenda item, to appoint the ad hoc committee members to the events commission, was inaccurate, which is why she requested it be tabled. Her motion to table passed by 5-1, with Perkins voting against the measure. Trustee Henderson Yarbrough was absent.

Dorris’s move to table the item prompted the mayor to suggest that the action was a sign that the fest wouldn’t happen.

“By tabling this you will not have a fest,” Perkins said, “that’s what this boils down to. In order to have the fest, we had to go to this committee.”

Trustee Isiah Brandon, however, noted that the item’s presence on the agenda was likely the result of miscommunication and that the ad hoc committee “is still in place” and the “fest is still moving forward.”

Trustee Michael Rogers conceded that he put forward the concept of leveraging the fest to recruit permanent members of the non-functioning events commission, but that his intentions may not have sank in with his board colleagues.

“We need to get the commission back up and running,” Rogers said. “We don’t want to be a one-trick pony. For now, as a temporary measure, (the ad hoc committee) is fine. But we need to get back to getting our commissions functioning.”

Board approves $2,500 for Safe Summer events

At the July 26 regular meeting, the village board also unanimously approved $2,500 to fund two events associated with the Safe Summer initiative. Trustee Isiah Brandon said the money would go to pay for a sound system and for bands to perform at two Music in the Park events.

A Gospel and jazz night is planned for Aug. 6 and a hip-hop and R&B night is planned for Aug. 19. VFP

CORRECTION: A previous version of this post incorrectly attributed ownership to Safe Summer and its related music events, which the village board allocated funding. These events are sponsored by the village as a whole and not individual board members, hence the public funding. VFP regrets this error.

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Maywood police to celebrate National Night Out Aug. 2

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Maywood Police officers clean up after a 2014 National Night Out event in Maywood. | File

The Maywood Police Department will be in Fred Hampton Park, 300 Fred Hampton Way (Oak Street), on Tuesday, Aug. 2, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., to celebrate National Night Out.

The event takes place nationwide each year and is designed “to raise Crime Prevention Awareness, strengthen neighborhood spirits and unity, and Community-Policing Partnerships,” according to a flyer circulated by the department promoting the event.

This year’s entertainment will include a youth tumbling team, an outdoor screening of the movie “Zootopia,” and free food, t-shirts, gifts and balloons.

Free Outdoors Music Concert, Aug. 3

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Youth Takeover Maywood, Aug. 6

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Maywood Old Timers Picnic, Aug. 20 

Old Timers

This year will mark the 20th Anniversary of the annual Maywood Old Timers Picnic, one of Maywood’s most anticipated community-wide events that was started as a way to reconnect the village’s present with its past.

“I was running into people at funerals and visitations I hadn’t seen in years and we would sit and talk,” said Marilynn Jefferson, a longtime Maywoodian, now retired and living in Georgia, who helped establish the first Old Timers Picnic.

“I finally said, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice where we had time we could all be together and it would not be a sad occasion?’” Jefferson reminisced during an interview at last year’s event.

Since its founding, the event has become a source of history for those interested in mining the village’s rich past.

This year, the picnic will be held on Aug. 20 at Maywood Veterans Memorial Park, 5th Ave. and Fred Hampton Way (or Oak St.).

Bring your family and friends. There will be food, fun and entertainment. For more information, call (708) 740-0747. Please leave a voicemail if you don’t get through.

One thought on “Maywood Fest Planned for September, With or Without Events Commission

  1. The Safe Summer Program is NOT any single trustee’s initiative. It is a community initiative. Assigning individual credit (or blame) for publicly funded and community supported programs is just wrong and causes a number of problems and divisions unnecessarily.

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